The first time I ever dreamed about sex, I was 11 years old. In the dream I’d married a boy from church whom I didn’t particularly like, and he left to hang out with some guys after we were actually married. In my dream, I ended up having sex with a female friend while my dream husband played paintball.
I kept it to myself, of course. When a fundamentalist Christian who has already pledged to keep her virginity (well… her hymen) intact until her wedding night experiences feelings of lust of any kind, she is ashamed. If the lust is homosexual, well, she might as well denounce her religion and move out of her house; neither one will be warm or welcoming places for her. So, I kept quiet about the dream and the thoughts and feelings I experienced. I told my mom about boys I liked, but never girls. I cut out magazine pages with pictures of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, but not Salma Hayek. I prayed about and for my future husband on a regular, if not obsessive, basis. I didn’t let myself think about ever actually dating a girl.
I didn’t tell anyone that I was oriented toward other women until I’d been married for a few years and had two children. My husband was surprised, but he agreed that it didn’t actually pose a threat to our marriage. I found lots of opportunities to talk about how gay people should choose celibacy, how I could love a gay person but hate their sin of a gay lifestyle, and how God expects people to change as they seek Him. There was plenty of evidence that I wouldn’t ever actually consider doing anything about my sapphic leanings.
Then, we got divorced. (That’s the short version.) I eventually started dating; I joined a dating site and went on several really terrible dates and one or two tolerable dates. I had a handful of sexual encounters with men.
Nine times out of ten, though, when my subconscious went somewhere erotic in my sleep, my partner was soft like me, with a smooth inner thigh and a curve to her hip.
I reveled in those dreams, and I eventually decided to bring that reverie into reality. It wasn’t simple, and there was more than a little internal conflict related to my religious upbringing, my family of origin, my children, and my ex husband, but I started being honest about my orientation. Dating as a bisexual woman is weird and difficult in its own way, and others’ expectations of me certainly vary. I continue to be surprised by the assumptions potential partners have about me automatically because of my bisexuality. (Apparently I’m supposed to have commitment issues, and I should really like threesomes.)
Weird ideas aside, though, the honesty has been good for me.